Ferguson takes over as Havre Daily News publisher
Last updated 2/1/2021 at 12:41pm
Havre Daily News Sports Editor George Ferguson has become publisher of the Havre Daily News, taking over for Stacy Mantle, who held the position until she left the newspaper last Friday after 20 years with the paper.
Ferguson, who has worked for the Havre Daily News for 19 years and has been sports editor for 15 of them, said he's excited to have been offered the position and is grateful that the ownership trusts him enough to take over for Mantle.
"It's an honor. ... I'm excited about it, I'm looking forward to it. I've made this my life's profession here at the Havre Daily," he said.
Ferguson was born and raised in Havre, having graduated from Havre High School in 1993, leaving only to get his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Montana in Missoula before returning to work for the newspaper as a sports writer.
He said many of his friends have worked at the paper over the years including his older brother, Dan, who was the sports editor for the paper in the '90s.
George Ferguson said newspapers like the Havre Daily News are an important part of life in small-town Montana and he aims to continue providing the community with a high-quality newspaper that serves its readers and advertisers every day.
"I'm looking forward to working with everybody and continuing to put out a great product," he said.
He said his predecessor was a friend and was instrumental in maintaining the paper's quality, a legacy he wants to continue.
"I truly, sincerely believe that Stacy Mantle did and incredible job," he said. "I think she made the Havre Daily News what it is right now, which is a very important piece of the Havre and Hi-Line communities. So my number one goal is to continue what she has built."
Ferguson said Mantle has spent the last few weeks preparing him for his new role, one that he is not worried will become overwhelming due to the quality of his colleagues in the office.
He said the staff at the paper right now is excellent on all sides, and he's confident that everyone can work together and make the transition a smooth one.
He said he will remain the sports editor and people will see his name on the opinion page, hopefully every week, but for now he's mainly focusing on the immediate task of getting the paper out in good shape day to day.
Ferguson said he's the first publisher to come from the editorial side of the office in many years which he said will help him in his new role.
"I think that's an advantage for the editorial side because I've been ensconced within it for almost two decades," he said.
But, he said, despite his origins, he's also always paid attention to the advertising side of the office, a result of his lifelong love of the entire business of news.
"I've always been fascinated by the newspaper business," he said. "... It's never perfect. It's an imperfect business as much as we strive to be perfect, but we'll always do our best to serve our readers, not just in Havre but the entire Hi-Line."